/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/000725.MBX             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, July 25, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 143


AUSTIN SLAUGHERHOUSE: Workers in MN Sue for Overtime Pay
CAREERBUILDER INC: The Washington Post Tells on IPO Investors' Loss
CARNIVAL CORP: Faces ADA Complaint over Accessibility of Cruise Ships
CARNIVAL CORP: Passenger Complaints over Port Charges in Various Stages
CARNIVAL CORP: Travel Agents' Suits over Port Charges at Various Stages

CELLSTAR CORP: Securities Suit in FL Re 1998 Consolidated and Pending
CELLULAR PHONE: Judge OKs Huge Class over Use of Personal Information
COFFELT, 2000: Add-on Filing Fee to Fund Mandatory Arbitration Okayed
COREL CORP: DE Lawsuit Seeks Injunction of Carleton - Inprise Merger
COREL CORP: Ontario SC's Lawsuit against Cowpland Being Consolidated

COREL CORP: Settles Lawsuit in New York Filed By Great Neck Capital
INS: 9th Cir Asserts Only the Court Has Power to Revoke Citizenships
INTUIT INC.: Company Calls Our QuickBooks Reporting "Inaccurate"
MOBILE HOME: Tenants Pay the Price for Boom in Once Mom-and-Pop Business
MORRISON KNUDSEN: Ct OKs ID Suit over Employee Stock Ownership Plan

QUINTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Discovery Commenced for Securities Suit in NY
SOTHEBY'S: The Times (London) Reports on Former CEO Art Queen DeDe
TECH COMPANIES: Employee Racial Suits Find Place in World of Meritocracy
TOBACCO LITIGATION: B&W Unworried by Landmark FL Verdict, Execs Say
TOBACCO LITIGATION: The Edmonton Sun Predicts 3 Things after FL Verdict

USDA: Black Farmers in St. Louis Express Suspicions about Relief


AUSTIN SLAUGHERHOUSE: Workers in MN Sue for Overtime Pay
Workers at a slaughterhouse in this southern Minnesota city are suing
their employer for allegedly failing to pay them for putting in overtime.

The workers filed a lawsuit against Quality Pork Processors this month in
Minneapolis federal court. They say the company broke federal and state
labor laws by not paying employees for time spent on job-related
functions before and after their shifts, including sterilizing safety
equipment and sharpening knives.

Texas-based Quality Pork employs about 1,000 Austin meatpackers. About
670 of them have signed statements agreeing to "opt in" to the potential
class-action case, said Robert Metcalf, a Minneapolis attorney
representing the plaintiffs.

Metcalf estimated his clients are owed more than $1 million in back pay
for uncompensated time during work hours as well as for work done before
and after their shifts.

Dale Wicks, personnel director at Quality Pork in Austin, declined to

The case is the latest of several lawsuits slaughterhouse workers have
lodged against U.S. meatpackers since the U.S. Department of Labor issued
a 1997 opinion letter on work before and after a shift.

The letter said that the industry's practice of not paying union
slaughterhouse workers for work-related activities before and after their
shifts violates the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Metcalf said.

Under federal law, employers don't have to pay workers for the time they
spend before and after work changing clothes or washing. But the Labor
Department letter said meatpacking firms must pay production workers for
putting on, taking off and washing safety gear because it is an essential
part of their jobs.

"The object is to get people paid for what they are owed," Metcalf said.
"We are not trying to get a windfall."

Metcalf's firm has taken on similar lawsuits for about 2,300 meatpackers
at Swift plants in Worthington and in Marshalltown, Iowa. The law firm
also represents about 1,200 Excel meatpackers in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Quality Pork, which is in the Hormel Foods Corp. meatpacking plant in
Austin, supplies the Fortune 500 company with slaughtered pigs for its
processing operations. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, July 24,

CAREERBUILDER INC: The Washington Post Tells on IPO Investors' Loss
Within 48 hours after executives of CareerBuilder Inc. agreed to sell the
company to two big newspaper chains for $ 8 a share, irate stockholders
filed a lawsuit.

It's a wonder it took them so long. The instant analysis of
CareerBuilder's buyout was guaranteed to make some shareholders pick up
the phone and scream for a lawyer.

CareerBuilder, an online employment service based in Reston, went public
only 14 months ago at $ 13 a share. Investors who bought stock in the
initial public offering and still own it stand to lose $ 5 a share in the

If that wasn't enough to make someone call for class action counsel,
another detail of the deal did it. While IPO investors will lose on the
buyout, CareerBuilder executives, venture capital investors and other
insiders stand to make big profits. They paid an average of $ 2.62 a
share for the 18.3 million shares they owned at the time of the IPO, the
stock offering documents show.

Here's the math: 18.3 million times $ 5.38 a share profit means a $ 98
million gain for the insiders. The IPO investors bought 4.4 million
shares; a loss of $ 5 each comes to $ 22 million.

That's an actual loss of market value on the IPO stock, though probably
not an actual loss for very many of the IPO buyers. It's a good guess
that most of them bailed out of CareerBuilder long ago.

The total cash gain for insiders will also be less than the above
calculation shows. CareerBuilder founder and Chairman Robert McGovern,
who owns 3.35 million shares, will convert an undisclosed part of his
holdings into a stake in the new online employment venture being built by
Tribune Co. and Knight Ridder Inc.

Whatever the gains and losses turn out to be, the disparity is enough to
generate a lawsuit over the conflict of interest between the public
shareholders and the corporate insiders.

The legal issues are going to be decided by the Delaware Chancery Court,
where the case was filed. Neither CareerBuilder executives nor the
lawyers for Caroline Teitelbaum, the stockholder who is the plaintiff in
the lawsuit, would discuss the case. But the economic issues and the
business decisions involved are another matter, one with implications for
investors in many other Washington companies.

CareerBuilder is the third local high-tech firm of late to agree to a
buyout at a price that's well below the initial public offering price of
its stock. Shareholders of OneMain.com Inc. of Reston and Hagler Bailly
Inc. of Arlington are in the same boat. Hagler Bailly, a consulting firm
that went public at $ 14 a share in July 1997, has accepted a $
5.32-a-share offer from PA Consulting Group Inc., a British firm.

OneMain.com, an Internet service provider, went public at $ 22 a share in
March of last year and is selling itself to Earthlink Inc. for a
combination of cash and stock worth about $ 12 a share.

That's an ominous pattern for Washington investors in many of the
region's technology fledglings.

There are about a dozen other local Internet companies whose stocks have
fallen below their IPO price. All of them are ripe candidates for
acquisition because they are small players in industries that are rapidly
consolidating and their stocks are selling for bargain-basement prices.

The stock market, that mysterious arbiter of values, has played a
ruthless role in pricing the stocks of CareerBuilder, OneMain.com and
Hagler Bailly. The fall in value of their shares is far more extreme than
any flaws in their businesses.

All three are solid, well-managed companies. They have rational business
plans. They're not like VarsityBooks.com, whose founders fantasized about
becoming the Amazon.com of college texts, or Value America Inc., whose
online department store required a bigger advertising budget than any
brick-and-mortar retailer.

All three have had problems delivering the revenue and profits investors
were hoping for, but their biggest fault is that they operate in sectors
of business that are out of favor with Wall Street.

Out of favor to the point of irrationality. CareerBuilder's stock fell to
$ 2.40 a share a few weeks ago. The company's stock market value was
about $ 50 million. At that point, CareerBuilder had $ 60 million in cash
in the bank. Thus the market was saying that--except for its
cash--CareerBuilder was worthless.

Not exactly. Not when CareerBuilder's Web site ranked second in traffic
among all the online employment services and third in revenue. The
company was attracting 2.1 million viewers a month, generating $ 5
million a quarter in revenue, losing half as much money as it had a year

Wall Street's negative valuation on CareerBuilder clearly did not make
sense to the dealmakers working for two of the nation's biggest newspaper
chains, Tribune of Chicago and Knight-Ridder.

"They called us when the stock was $ 2," McGovern said in a telephone
interview. "It's a completely different stock market for dot-coms than it
was a year ago. I never expected to be trading at $ 2 a share. Not when
we had been making the high end of analysts' expectations for five
quarters in a row."

The publishers made an unsolicited offer of $ 8 a share. It was an offer
McGovern did not particularly want to accept, but, he says, one that he
couldn't refuse.

"This is a four-times premium over our recent low," he said. "The real
issue became: I'm at $ 2 now, do I take $ 8? Is that in the best interest
of the shareholders? Or do I take a chance we get back to $ 13?

"We ultimately concluded that $ 8 is a lot better then $ 2 and is
probably the best we are going to get for the shareholders in this new
dot-com stock market."

McGovern said he removed himself from the decision and turned the
Tribune-Knight Ridder offer over to a committee of outside board members,
who decided to take it.

If CareerBuilder had turned down the offer, some shareholder might well
have sued over that, too.

The legal and economic question of whether taking the $ 8 was the right
thing to do is further complicated by the makeup of the company's board
of directors and the committee that reviewed the offer.

Like a lot of young high-tech companies, CareerBuilder doesn't really
have an independent, outside board. The board members who aren't company
executives are venture capitalists and other investors who own big stakes
in the company--lots of shares purchased early for a lot less money than
the public investors paid later in the IPO.

McGovern makes a persuasive case that $ 8 is the best price shareholders
were likely to get any time soon. But the decision-makers and the
decision-making process, and the economic benefits of the transaction,
all leave the perception that insiders benefited at the expense of public

The perceived conflict of interest--also an issue for OneMain.com--could
bode ill for the process of raising capital, making it more difficult for
the next generation of entrepreneurs to go public.

Investors may not be so willing to put their money into IPOs if they fear
that insiders will sell them out at a price that makes a profit for early
investors but not the public shareholders.

The decision to sell CareerBuilder certainly does not encourage investors
to think long term. It's only been a year and a half since the company
went public. Early in the life of America Online Inc., there were times
when AOL stock was depressed and the founders might have been tempted to
sell out. What a blunder that would have been.

Nor does the CareerBuilder buyout give investors any reason for remaining
loyal to a company and hanging on when its stock price starts to slip.

CareerBuilder stock hit its peak about six weeks after its IPO. In
hindsight it is clear that the smartest investors are the ones who dumped
it the minute it reversed directly. Once the stock fell below its IPO
price, it never came back. (The Washington Post, July 24, 2000)

CARNIVAL CORP: Faces ADA Complaint over Accessibility of Cruise Ships
An action has been filed in Florida against Carnival alleging Carnival
violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to make certain
of its cruise ships accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Plaintiffs seek compensatory and statutory damages, special and
consequential damages, punitive and exemplary damages, injunctive relief
and fees and costs. This action is in progress and is proceeding.

CARNIVAL CORP: Passenger Complaints over Port Charges in Various Stages
Several Passenger Complaints have been filed against Carnival Cruise
Lines and one action has been filed against Holland America Westours on
behalf of purported classes of persons who paid port charges to Carnival
or Holland America Line, alleging that statements made in advertising and
promotional materials concerning port charges were false and misleading.
The Passenger Complaints allege violations of the various state consumer
protection acts and claims of fraud, conversion, breach of fiduciary
duties and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages or,
alternatively, refunds of portions of port charges paid, attorneys' fees,
costs, prejudgment interest, punitive damages and injunctive and
declaratory relief. The actions against Carnival are in various stages of
progress and are proceeding.

Holland America Westours has entered into a settlement agreement for the
one Passenger Complaint filed against it. The settlement agreement was
approved by the court on September 28, 1998. One member of the settlement
class appealed the court's approval of the settlement and a decision on
such appeal is expected shortly.  A further appeal could be taken by
either party which could result in the settlement being delayed for an
additional one year. Unless the appeal is successful, Holland America
will issue travel vouchers with a face value of $10- $50 depending on
specified criteria, to certain of its passengers who are U.S. residents
and who sailed between April 1992 and April 1996, and will pay a portion
of the plaintiffs' legal fees. The amount and timing of the travel
vouchers to be redeemed and the effects of the travel voucher redemption
on revenues is not reasonably determinable. The Company has not
established a liability for the travel voucher portion of the settlements
and will account for the redemption of the vouchers as a reduction of
future revenues.

CARNIVAL CORP: Travel Agents' Suits over Port Charges at Various Stages
Several Travel Agent Complaints were filed against Carnival and/or
Holland America Westours on behalf of purported classes of travel
agencies who had booked a cruise with Carnival or Holland America,
claiming that advertising practices regarding port charges resulted in an
improper commission bypass. The two remaining actions, filed in
California and Florida, allege violations of state consumer protection
laws, claims of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, unjust
enrichment, unlawful business practices and common law fraud, and they
seek unspecified compensatory damages (or alternatively, the payment of
usual and customary commissions on port charges paid by passengers in
excess of certain charges levied by government authorities), an
accounting, attorneys' fees and costs, punitive damages and injunctive
relief. These actions are in various stages of progress and are

CELLSTAR CORP: Securities Suit in FL Re 1998 Consolidated and Pending
During the period from May 1999 through July 1999, seven purported class
action lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Florida, Miami Division. Each lawsuit sought
certification as a class action to represent those persons who purchased
the publicly traded securities of the Company during the period from
March 19, 1998 to September 21, 1998.

Each lawsuit alleges that the Company issued a series of materially false
and misleading statements concerning the Company's results of operations
and investment in Topp, resulting in violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.

The Court entered an order on September 26, 1999 consolidating the
lawsuits and appointing lead plaintiffs and lead plaintiffs' counsel. On
November 8, 1999, the lead plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint. The
Company has filed a Motion to Dismiss the consolidated complaint, but the
court has not yet rendered a decision. The Company believes that it has
fully complied with all applicable securities laws and regulations and
that it has meritorious defenses to the allegations made in the
consolidated complaint. The Company intends to vigorously defend the
consolidated action if its Motion to Dismiss is denied.

On August 3, 1998, the Company announced that the Securities and Exchange
Commission is conducting an investigation of the Company relating to its
compliance with federal securities laws. The Company believes that it has
fully complied with all securities laws and regulations and is
cooperating with the commission staff in its investigation.

CELLULAR PHONE: Judge OKs Huge Class over Use of Personal Information
A Cook County judge has approved a nationwide class comprising several
million cellular telephone users in a lawsuit claiming that telephone
companies and others improperly used subscribers' personal information in
a study of potential adverse health effects.

Judge Ellis E. Reid entered the class certification order in a case
pending since 1995 which names Motorola Inc., Ameritech Mobile
Communications Inc. and others as defendants.

We view this case as one of magnitude in all respects," Chicago lawyer
Ben Barnow, who is counsel for the class along with William J. Harte.

Both Barnow, a principal of Barnow & Goldberg P.C., and Harte, who heads
a Chicago law firm bearing his name, said that the class will consist of
several million members.

Norman Sandler, a spokesman for Motorola said, We have certain problems
with Reid's class certification ruling and aren't at the point now to
specify what we're going to do moving forward. In the short term, we
continue to believe the case has no merit."

The lawsuit relates to the use of subscribers' personal information, such
as Social Security number and data on cell phone usage, to monitor the
users for health maladies, if any, such as brain tumors and leukemia.

The multiple-count complaint asserts that the defendants, also including
the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, Wireless Technology
Research LLC and Epidemiology Resources Inc., improperly disclosed and
wrongly used subscribers' personal information. The complaint includes
invasion of privacy and breach of contract counts. Jerald P. Busse, et
al. v. Motorola Inc., et al., No. 95 CH 10332.

The lawsuit also seeks unspecified money damages and injunctive relief,
including preventing the defendants from using the subscribers' personal

There have been reports that the study was stopped because of the
lawsuit" pending before Reid, Barnow said. I am of course concerned that
they could start the study up again without this legal intervention."

The cellular phone industry, along with U.S. and international
regulators, have determined that cell phone users don't subject
themselves to health risks, Sandler said. This lawsuit was never in a
direct sense about health issues," he added.

Reid's order states that the class is defined as all subscribers of
cellular telephone services at any time during the period commencing Nov.
1, 1993, and ending Dec. 23, 1998, whose provider of cellular services
entered into an agreement to provide personal information, including,
e.g., Social Security number, address, birth date, the ESN serial number
of a person's cellular phone, cellular phone records including the number
of calls made and minutes used, regarding said subscribers to
Epidemiology Resources Inc."

Lawyers in the case are set to present a proposed class notice to Reid on
Aug. 3, Barnow said.

Representing Motorola and Ameritech are Garrett B. Johnson, a partner in
Kirkland & Ellis, and other lawyers with that firm.

Francis A. Citera and Ruth A. Bahe-Jachna of Foley & Lardner's Chicago
office represent the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association,
while James Baller of Washington, D.C., is the attorney for Wireless
Technology Research LLC.

H. Patrick Morris of Johnson & Bell Ltd. in Chicago and Alan Garber, a
Boston attorney, represent Epidemiology Resources Inc. (Chicago Daily Law
Bulletin, July 21, 2000)

COFFELT, 2000: Add-on Filing Fee to Fund Mandatory Arbitration Okayed
The 2d District Appellate Court recently upheld the constitutionality of
a Code of Civil Procedure provision that imposes a surcharge on all civil
filing fees to fund court-annexed mandatory arbitration. The charge
applies even if a plaintiff's particular claim is not subject to
arbitration. Mellon v. Coffelt, 2000 Ill.App.Lexis 384 (2d Dist., May

Plaintiff Laura Mellon was represented by Clint Krislov and Richard
Grossman of Chicago and Gary Schlesinger of Libertyville. Assistant
Attorney General Brian Barov and Assistant Lake County State's Attorney
Adam Simon represented the defendants, Lake County Circuit Clerk Sally
Coffelt and state Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka.

The Illinois legislature in 1986 created court-annexed mandatory
arbitration, which was codified in the Code of Civil Procedure, 735 ILCS
5/2-1001A through 1009A. Pursuant to the legislation, the Illinois
Supreme Court promulgated rules pertaining to the operation and effect of
the system, including Supreme Court Rule 86(b), which provides that the
only civil actions subject to mandatory arbitration are those involving
claims made exclusively for monetary damages.

In addition, the 19th Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Lake County,
enacted a rule stating that all civil actions that are exclusively for
money in an amount exceeding $ 5,000 but not exceeding $ 30,000 are
subject to mandatory arbitration. The arbitration system is financed in
Lake County by an $ 8 charge on top of the filing fee for civil actions.
735 ILCS 5/2-1009A.

The plaintiff had initially filed a proceeding for the guardianship of a
minor, a proceeding that could not make use of the arbitration system. In
the case here, she alleged that she is a member of a class of people
filing civil cases in Lake County who are charged the $ 8 arbitration fee
but who cannot use the system because it is unavailable for actions that
are not exclusively for money damages. She claimed that the arbitration
fee is therefore unconstitutional under the uniformity, free access, due
process and equal protection clauses of the Illinois Constitution.

Although the plaintiff moved for class certification, the trial court
never ruled on her motion. It did, however, grant the defendants' motion
to dismiss, and the plaintiff took this appeal.

In an opinion by Justice Fred A. Geiger, the 2d District affirmed. He
first considered whether the constitutionality of the fee should be
analyzed under a strict scrutiny test, which applies to fundamental
rights, or a rational relation test, a lower level of scrutiny for claims
not involving fundamental rights.

The plaintiff argued that the fee impeded her ability to litigate her
guardianship proceeding and should be subject to strict scrutiny.

Geiger noted that in Boynton v. Kusper, 112 Ill.2d 356, 494 N.E.2d 135
(1986), the Supreme Court found that the right to marry is fundamental
and applied a strict scrutiny test to invalidate a statute that required
county clerks to pay $ 10 of the fee collected for marriage licenses into
a fund for domestic violence shelters.

In the 2d District case, however, Geiger said nothing in the record
indicated the exact nature of the guardianship proceeding the plaintiff
had filed. He added that constitutional jurisprudence does not indicate
that a proceeding involving the guardianship of a minor per se implicates
a fundamental right. He therefore held that the rational relation test
should apply.

Geiger then addressed the plaintiff's uniformity and equal protection
challenges. The uniformity claim was brought pursuant to Article IX,
section 2, of the Illinois Constitution, which states that laws
classifying the subjects of non-property taxes or fees must tax each
class of subjects uniformly. It was designed to enforce minimum standards
of reasonableness among groups of taxpayers. The clause imposes more
stringent limitations than the equal protection clause on the
legislature's authority to classify the subjects of taxation, so that if
a tax is constitutional under the uniformity clause, it inherently
fulfills the requirements of equal protection.

According to Geiger, the plaintiff's uniformity challenge was so
incoherent that she effectively waived the argument. He nevertheless
chose to examine the issue, finding that the taxing body bears the
initial burden of producing a justification for the tax classification in
dispute. The defendants here pointed out that the plaintiff and the
proposed members of the class all benefit from the reduced backlog as a
result of cases being disposed of via the arbitration, even though the
other cases are not subject to arbitration. People burdened by a tax need
not all benefit in the same way, Geiger said. He found that the
justification offered by the defendants was legally sufficient to dispose
of both the uniformity and equal protection arguments.

As to the free access and due process arguments, Geiger noted that due
process requires that legislation bear a reasonable relationship to a
public interest and that the means adopted are a reasonable method of
accomplishing that objective. The free access clause (Article II, section
12) imposes the additional requirement that court filing fees relate to
the operation and maintenance of the court system. Thus, if legislation
pertaining to court fees survives a free access challenge, it necessarily
satisfies due process.

The plaintiff relied principally on Crocker v. Finley, 99 Ill.2d 444, 459
N.E.2d 1346 (1984), in which the Supreme Court struck down a $ 5 filing
tax imposed on divorce petitions to fund a domestic violence shelter
program. Applying a rational relation test, the high court held that the
relationship between filing a petition for dissolution of marriage and
domestic shelters was too remote to uphold the tax.

Geiger observed that the reasoning in Crocker did not support the idea
that, in order to fund a particular division of the court system, the
revenue may not come from filing fees paid by litigants in other
divisions of the court system. He thus determined that Ali v. Danaher, 47
Ill.2d 231, 265 N.E.2d 103 (1970), and Zamarron v. Pucinski, 282
Ill.App.3d 354, 668 N.E.2d 186 (1st Dist. 1996), were more analogous to
the present case than Crocker. In Ali, the court upheld a $ 1 fee imposed
on every litigant for the maintenance of a county law library, even
though not everyone paying the fee would use the library. In Zamarron,
the court upheld a civil litigation surcharge to fund court automation
for the criminal and quasi-criminal" courts. The court noted that better
functioning criminal courts benefited the overall administration of
justice in our unified court system.

Geiger also found support in Wenger v. Finley, 185 Ill.App.3d 907, 541
N.E.2d 1220 (1st Dist. 1989), which upheld a surcharge to a court filing
fee to fund alternative dispute resolution centers. The Wenger court
deferred to the legislature, which had specifically found that the
centers could make a substantial contribution to the operation and
maintenance of the courts.

Geiger similarly found that the 2d District should defer to the
legislature's judgment in determining that the arbitration system would
operate to expedite cases within the overall court system. Based on this
reasoning, the 2d District affirmed the trial court's dismissal. For the
State By Don R. Sampen Sampen, an assistant Illinois attorney general, is
an experienced Chicago litigator. A graduate of Northwestern University
School of Law, Sampen has written extensively and taught trial practice
and other courses at area law schools. His column appears semimonthly.
(Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, July 20, 2000)

COREL CORP: DE Lawsuit Seeks Injunction of Carleton - Inprise Merger
On April 24, 2000, Carleton Acquisition Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Corel, was served with a lawsuit filed by Management Insights, Inc. in
the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware in New Castle County
against Inprise Corporation ("Inprise"), four individually named
directors of Inprise, Corel and Carleton Acquisition Co. The president
and CEO of the plaintiff corporation is C. Robert Coates, who resigned as
director of Inprise allegedly as a result of the proposed merger with

The plaintiff sought an injunction against the consummation of the
merger, and in the alternative sought rescissory and other unspecified
equitable relief and damages. As against Corel, the plaintiff alleged
that the Company induced the merger agreement with misrepresentations of
its current and projected financial results. Due to the failure of the
Corel / Inprise merger on May 16, 2000, the case became moot. On June 5,
2000, the case was dismissed with prejudice, with the defendant Inprise
contributing some funds toward the plaintiff's legal costs. The Company
did not contribute funds toward the settlement.

COREL CORP: Ontario SC's Lawsuit against Cowpland Being Consolidated
On October 14, 1999, the Ontario Securities Commission filed charges
against Dr. Michael C.J. Cowpland, the Company's Chairman, President and
Chief Executive Officer and his holding company, M.C.J.C. Holdings Inc.,
in the Ontario Court of Justice. The charges include four counts of
violating provisions of the Ontario Securities Act related to insider
trading. The trial of these issues is a private matter between the
Ontario Securities Commission and Dr. Cowpland as an individual. As such,
it is not expected to affect the Company's day-to-day activities. Dr.
Cowpland continues to deny all allegations by the Ontario Securities

On March 13, 2000, the Company was served with a complaint filed against
it and Dr. Michael C.J. Cowpland by plaintiffs Anthony Basilio and Fred
Spagnola in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. The complaint was filed on behalf of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired Corel common shares between December 7,
1999 and December 21, 1999 (the "Class Period"). The complaint alleges
that the defendants violated various provisions of the federal securities
laws, including Section 10(b), Section 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, by misrepresenting or
failing to disclose material information about Corel's financial
condition. The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of money damages.

On March 29, 2000, the Company was served with a second complaint filed
against the same named defendants by plaintiff Alan Treski in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This
second complaint references an identical Class Period as the Basilio
complaint referenced above and contains similar allegations. Since
service of the Basilio and Treski complaints, the Company has become
aware of four additional complaints filed in the same jurisdiction and
one complaint filed in the District of Massachusetts that reference an
identical Class Period and contain similar allegations. To date, the
Company has not been served with any of these five additional complaints.

On May 12, 2000, the firm of Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan, counsel
for plaintiffs Basilio, Spagnola and Treski, filed Motions for
Appointment of Lead Plaintiffs and Co-Lead Counsel and a related Motion
for Consolidation in respect of the six pending Eastern District of
Pennsylvania and the one District of Massachusetts actions. A scheduling
conference occurred on June 14, 2000. An order consolidating all seven
complaints is being circulated for approval by counsel before being
submitted to the court. The proposed order also approves the plaintiffs'
motion for the appointment of lead plaintiffs and co-lead counsel. Fred
Spagnola, Michael Perron and David Chavez will be appointed as Lead
Plaintiffs. The firms of Weinstein Kitchenoff Scarlato & Goldman Ltd.
and Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan, P.C. will be appointed as Co-Lead
Counsel. The deadline for filing a Consolidated Amended Complaint on
behalf of the lead plaintiffs and the class will be August 14, 2000. The
Company intends to aggressively defend this matter.

COREL CORP: Settles Lawsuit in New York Filed By Great Neck Capital
On or about February 23, 1998, the Company became aware that a class
action lawsuit had been filed against it by named Plaintiff Great Neck
Capital Appreciation Investment Partnership in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The Great Neck complaint was consolidated by order dated June 1, 1998
with four other previously filed complaints: Giskan, Meyer, Mangold and
Hagler. Also on June 1, 1998, the court approved the plaintiff's motion
for the appointment of lead plaintiff and lead counsel. Great Neck (as
lead plaintiff) filed a consolidated amended complaint on behalf of lead
plaintiff and the class on September 9, 1998.

On November 9, 1998, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the
Consolidated Complaint in its entirety. On December 30, 1998, Plaintiffs
filed a related Motion to strike certain documents referred to in the
Company's Motion to Dismiss. Both motions were fully briefed by February
12, 1999.  On June 18, 1999, the Company filed a second Motion to Dismiss
on the grounds of forum non conveniens. On September 1, 1999, the parties
entered into a Memorandum of Understanding and agreed in principle to
settle this litigation.

In view of the settlement in principle, the Court, on September 28, 1999,
denied the pending motions as moot, subject to renewal in the event that
the settlement is not consummated.

On January 13, 2000, the parties executed a Settlement Agreement, subject
to approval of the Court. On January 14, 2000, the parties requested that
the Court (a) preliminarily approve the proposed settlement; (b) schedule
a final settlement hearing; and, (c) direct that notice of the proposed
settlement be given to the members of the class. On February 7, 2000, the
Court preliminarily approved the proposed settlement and fixed May 12,
2000 as the date for the settlement hearing. By Order and Final Judgment
dated May 12, 2000, the Consolidated Action was dismissed with prejudice
pursuant to an agreed payment by the Company.

INS: 9th Cir Asserts Only the Court Has Power to Revoke Citizenships
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals drew a line in the sand last
Thursday July 20 between the judicial system and the Immigration and
Naturalization Service, ruling that only the court has the power to
revoke naturalized citizenships.

At issue was a national class action challenging INS attempts to revoke
the citizenship of almost 2,700 naturalized citizens, many of whom failed
to report previous arrests or otherwise erred in the application process.
The decision was a decisive rebuke of the Justice Department's assumption
of authority to "denaturalize" these immigrants.

"Citizenship in the United States of America is among our most valuable
rights," wrote Judge Andrew Kleinfeld in a soaring opinion joined by the
entire en banc panel. "For many of us, it is all that protects our life,
liberty and property from arbitrary deprivation. The world is full of
miserable governments that protect none of these rights. "Many of us
would be dead or never conceived in wretched places in other countries,
had we or our ancestors not obtained American citizenship. For the
Attorney General to gain the terrible power to take citizenship away
without going to court, she needs Congress to say so."

Kleinfeld was tapped to write the en banc opinion after scripting the
dissent to Judge Pamela Ann Rymer's original opinion for the three-judge

In 1990, the final power to naturalize citizens was conferred from the
courts to the Justice Department. The government argued that with the
power to naturalize came the inherent power to denaturalize.

Around 1996, conservative members of Congress began to complain that
immigrants were being granted citizenship without proper review. The
Justice Department reassessed millions of cases and found 2,692 contained
errors of process. Of those, 94 percent contained errors that would not
have barred citizenship in the first place. For example, one plaintiff
failed to report that he had been arrested, but he argued that when a
judge nullified his faulty arrest, he was told it would be as if it never
happened. "I think what the court's saying here is that when you're
talking about important rights being taken away, the court should have
jurisdiction over that, " said immigration attorney Marc Van Der Hout, of
Van Der Hout & Brigagliano.

Jonathan Franklin, a partner with Washington, D.C.'s Hogan & Hartson,
argued the case for the plaintiffs. "We are pleased that the court has
unanimously confirmed that the United States cannot take away the
precious right of U.S. citizenship without proving its case in a court of
law," Franklin said. The case is Gorbach v. Reno, 00 C.D.O.S. 6043. (The
Recorder, July 21, 2000)

INTUIT INC.: Company Calls Our QuickBooks Reporting "Inaccurate"
Intuic Inc.'s lawyers provide the following rebuttal to our July 11
report questioning whether the wheels are coming off at Inquit as
critical product support functions for QuickBooks had collapsed:

      We represent Intuit Inc.  A story published on July 11 by the Class
Action Reporter regarding Intuit's QuickBooks product and payroll service
contained numerous inaccuracies.  Intuit responded to those allegations
prior to publication, but its response was not incorporated in the story.

      Intuit was dismayed to see your story today which totally ignored
the facts provided to you by Intuit prior to publication.  *   *   *

      The inaccuracies in the story include but are not limited to the

      FALSE: Intuit is currently unable to provide adequate support for
its customers.

      FACT: Intuit is committed to timely technical support of its users,

including users of the QuickBooks Basic Payroll Service, and we offer a
variety of free and fee-paid support plans. Intuit assists thousands of
customers each day in a prompt and timely manner. For example, the
average speed of answer for technical support calls for QuickBooks,
including the basic Payroll Service, in June 2000 was less than 5

      FALSE: QuickBooks has withdrawn support of older QuickBooks
versions, forcing customers to purchase a new payroll system.

      FACT: Intuit continues to support and deliver its QuickBooks Tax
Table Service to its QuickBooks 6.0 and 99 customers who subscribe to the
service. Subscribers may choose to receive their tax table updates via
the Internet or by diskettes. Customers are not forced to purchase a new
payroll system.

      Intuit provides tens of thousands of QuickBooks small business
customers with an easy-to-use and affordable payroll solution. With the
introduction of QuickBooks 2000 last January, Intuit offered customers
three options to meet their business payroll needs. QuickBooks 2000
customers may choose to do their payroll manually at no additional
charge; subscribe to the QuickBooks Basic Payroll Service for a small
monthly charge to receive up-to-date and compliant tax table information
via the Internet; or purchase a subscription to the QuickBooks Deluxe
Payroll Service for more comprehensive payroll needs.

      FALSE: Intuit is unable to provide customer support for prompt
migration to the new payroll system, threatening the small business
user's viability.

      FACT: Again, Intuit provides a variety of free and fee-paid
alternatives for users who elect to upgrade from an earlier version to
QuickBooks 2000.

      FALSE: More serious fundamental flaws in the new products might, of
course, be the cause of the difficulties.

      FACT: This is inflammatory and unsubstantiated speculation.
QuickBooks remains the leading small business accounting software, used
by millions of customers.

      FALSE: Intuit's new payroll system was forced on some customers
within the last few weeks.

      FACT: No new payroll system has been forced on customers. Upgrades
to QuickBooks 2000 are optional and provide customers with the three
options mentioned above - doing payroll manually at no additional charge,
subscribing to the QuickBooks Basic Payroll Service or subscribing to the
QuickBooks Deluxe Payroll Service.

      FALSE: Caller was advised that service would take more than 60

      FACT: We are not able to confirm the experience of an individual
caller based on the information provided. The average speed of answer for
QuickBooks technical support, including the Basic Payroll Service, in
June 2000 was less than 5 minutes. Our QuickBooks technical support lines
do not instruct callers to wait "more than 60 minutes" for assistance.

      Intuit remains devoted to its customers across a wide variety of
financial products.  These customers deserve accurate information
regarding Intuit's products.  The disinformation contained in your story
can only serve to injure Intuit and its customers.

      *   *   *

                                          Very truly yours,

                                          Claude Stern

                                          Claude M. Stern, Esq.
                                          Fenwick & West LLP
                                          2 Palo Alto Square
                                          Palo Alto, CA  94306
                                          Direct:  (650) 858-7183
                                          Fax:     (650) 494-1417
                                          e-mail:  cstern@fenwick.com

MOBILE HOME: Tenants Pay the Price for Boom in Once Mom-and-Pop Business
When Patricia Yauch moved to the Sunset Village trailer park in Glenview,
she thought she and her husband, a retired janitor, had found a haven for
their golden years. She never dreamed that stiff rent increases
eventually would force her to seek handouts from the food pantry.

"It was not too bad as long as my husband was alive, because we were
getting two pensions," said Yauch, who is 64 and disabled by arthritis of
the spine. "Many times, I have to decide between paying the bills or

Yauch pays more than half of her monthly $1,009 Social Security check to
rent the space where she parks her mobile home. When she and her husband,
Harold, moved to Sunset Village eight years ago, park owner Capitol
Development Corp. of Chicago charged them $350 a month. Yauch now pays

Blame it on the discovery by park owners that the humble trailer park,
long the butt of jokes, can be transformed into a not-so-trashy
moneymaker. After decades in the backwater of the real-estate scene,
mobile home parks like Sunset Village are caught up in the booming
housing market. With Wall Street's blessing, big companies are gobbling
up the largest chunks of what had been primarily a mom-and-pop business.

From Kankakee to the North Shore suburbs, owners of mobile homes,
especially the elderly on fixed incomes such as Yauch, say life in a
single- or double-wide is becoming increasingly hard. They complain that
rents rise far faster than their income and that more increases are
inevitable as the corporate owners aim to sell new, bigger homes to a
younger, more affluent market.

An estimated 20 million people, including 400,000 in Illinois, live in
mobile homes. Most mobile home residents own their homes but not the
land, which they rent from the park owners.

Those most affected by the changes are retirees who depend on Social
Security checks and pensions. Nearly half the nation's mobile home owners
are older than 55.

"The companies are not in the social service of providing housing for the
elderly. They're in business," said George Allen, an industry consultant
in Indianapolis. "The question is, where do you draw the line between
social consciousness and what you need to do to satisfy the people on
Wall Street?"

Many tenants are not as happy as investors are. Since mobile homes are,
in fact, very difficult and expensive to move, there's not much they can
do. At Whippletree Village, a Wheeling trailer park owned by Capitol
Development, residents asked the City Council for relief from rent
increases, but officials rejected a rent-control proposal they debated in
1996. The company is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly pricing
tenants out of Whippletree Village.

Richard Klarchek, president of Capitol Development, did not return phone
calls seeking comment.

Bud Zeman, a Chicagoan who owns several mobile-home parks in the area,
invited any tenant unhappy with rent increases to find a cheaper
conventional housing alternative. Asked about this year's $35-a-month
increase at his Rosebud park in Bridgeview, Zeman said most dissent is
heard from a vocal minority of tenants. "You talk about rent increases;
they don't even like paying any rent at all," said Zeman, who is a
director of a clout-heavy statewide industry group. "They want to live
for free."

As they lounged on the porch of their manufactured home, Howard and Betty
Yount explained the difficulty of fighting rent increases. The rent for
the narrow, tree-shaded lot where they park their double-wide went up $25
a month this year.

The Younts and their neighbors at Willow Lake Estates in Elgin filed a
class-action suit in 1988 challenging rent increases. A federal judge
ruled in their favor, agreeing that their leases stipulated that rent
should increase only as fast as the cost of living. The celebration ended
the next year, when the Illinois legislature rendered the ruling moot,
changing the law to allow unlimited rent increases when a lease is
renewed. "There's no point in trying to beat Sam what's-his-name, the big
shot," said Betty Yount.

That's Sam as in Sam Zell, the Chicago billionaire. Zell's Chicago-based
Manufactured Home Communities Inc. is the country's largest owner and
operator of mobile-home parks.

The company, which acquired Willow Lake Estates in 1994, told tenants
that the strong local real-estate market justified a $25-a-month rent
increase this year. For many homeowners the increase translated into more
than twice the 2.7 percent inflation rate, bringing the average rent at
Willow Lake Estates to $583 a month.

Modest gentrification has begun to transform Willow Lake Estates as well
as some other corporate-owned parks. Newer models at the Elgin park boast
1,800 square feet of space, with remote-control fireplaces, whirlpool
tubs, cathedral ceilings and names that evoke nearby affluent suburbs:
the St. Charles, the Inverness, the Glen Ellyn. The most expensive new
home, the Lake Forest model, lists for $118,900.

Many longtime homeowners see the newer, relatively opulent homes as a
harbinger of still higher rents and complain that management wants to
target for a younger market a park that was founded in 1964 as a senior
community. The women getting perms at the park's Steel Magnolias beauty
salon on a recent morning also said they don't like new rules that allow
children and pets at Willow Lakes Estates.

"Everybody has been very upset," said longtime homeowner Marilyn Ramel.
"All management wants to do is sell new houses. The rest of us--pardon my
language--can go to hell."

A top Manufactured Home Communities official said market forces and the
desire to prevent the company's parks from deteriorating prompted the
rent increase.

"If we try to keep rents at stable or declining rates, new homes won't be
brought in, and we'll fulfill the prophecy of the trailer park," said the
company's chief executive officer, Howard Walker. "Today's retiree has
more money, a higher level of expectations. They don't want to put their
nice, new homes between two old, unkempt homes."

A famed dealmaker, Zell made one of his best moves in 1993, when he took
Manufactured Home Communities public as the first big real-estate
investment trust involving mobile-home parks. Between 1996 and 1999, the
company's revenue more than doubled. The company now owns or has a
controlling interest in 157 mobile-home parks in 26 states.

The growing value of the parks is partly the result of simple
economics--increased demand and limited supply. With municipalities
hesitant to approve new ones, the number of parks in the country has
remained fairly constant since the 1970s, industry experts say. It's only
in the last few years that demand for pads has outstripped supply. The
demand is expected to increase further as Baby Boomers age.

At the Holiday Hills community, a Manufactured Home Communities property
in the Denver suburb of Federal Heights, elderly residents picketed in
vain over rent increases last year. Counterparts in Illinois also have
been unable to do anything about rent increases.

Bills introduced on their behalf in Springfield invariably perish against
a powerful lobby. The park owners' group, the Illinois Manufactured
Housing Association, has an office in Springfield with a lobbyist who was
part of the movement that promoted legislation crushing the idea of rent

People who challenge the landlords fare poorly. The late William Becker
found challenging a rent increase costly as well as fruitless.

The retired electrician and World War II veteran last year filed a
small-claims case against Manufactured Home Communities, claiming it
overcharged him $6 a month in rent by raising his bill for a lot at
Willow Lake Estates faster than the inflation rate.

The company prevailed in Kane County Circuit Court. Its lawyers then
demanded Becker pay $5,000 in legal fees, although court records show
that the judge did not order Becker to reimburse the company. After
suffering a heart attack, Becker decided to pay, saying he did so to "put
an end to this madness."

Days before he succumbed to cancer at age 75 in May, Becker still
insisted he had been right to challenge the increase. "Courage, I've
got," he said. "Money, I don't." (Chicago Tribune, July 24, 2000)

MORRISON KNUDSEN: Ct OKs ID Suit over Employee Stock Ownership Plan
Certain current and former officers, employees and directors of the
Corporation were named defendants in an action filed by two former
participants in the Old MK 401(k) plan and Employee Stock Ownership Plan
in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. The
complaint alleges, among other things, that the defendants breached
certain fiduciary duties. On July 12, 2000, the Court denied plaintiffs'
motion to reconsider a prior summary judgment in favor of certain
defendants and granted summary judgment with respect to certain other
defendants with the result that the Corporation and all current and
former officers, employees and directors have been dismissed from the
action. The Court also certified the case as a class action. The
remaining defendants in this proceeding are the two plan committees and
two companies (to which the Corporation has certain indemnification
obligations) involved in administration of the plans.

QUINTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Discovery Commenced for Securities Suit in NY
On or about May 4, 1998, a complaint entitled "Joseph Chalverus, on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. Quintel
Entertainment, Inc., Jeffrey L. Schwartz and Daniel Harvey" was filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York;
subsequently, a complaint entitled "Richard M. Woodward, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated v. Quintel Entertainment, Inc.,
Jeffrey L. Schwartz and Daniel Harvey" was filed in that same court, as
was a complaint entitled "Dr. Michael Title, on behalf of himself and all
others similarly situated v. Jeffrey L. Schwartz, Jay Greenwald, Claudia
Newman Hirsch, Andrew Stollman, Mark Gutterman, Steven L. Feder, Michael
G. Miller, Daniel Harvey and Quintel Entertainment, Inc." In addition to
the Company, the defendants named in the Complaints are present and
former officers and directors of the Company.

The plaintiffs seek to bring the actions on behalf of a purported class
of all persons or entities who purchased shares of the Company's Common
Stock from July 15, 1997 through October 15, 1997 and who were damaged
thereby, with certain exclusions. The Complaints allege violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and allege
that the defendants made misrepresentations and omissions concerning the
Company's financial results, operations and future prospects, in
particular, relating to the Company's reserves for customer chargebacks
and its business relationship with AT&T. The Complaints allege that the
alleged misrepresentations and omissions caused the Company's Common
Stock to trade at inflated prices, thereby damaging plaintiffs and the
members of the purported class. The amount of damages sought by
plaintiffs and the purported class has not been specified.

On September 18, 1998, the District Court ordered that the three actions
be consolidated, appointed a group of lead plaintiffs in the consolidated
actions, approved the lead plaintiffs' selection of counsel for the
purported class in the consolidated actions, and directed the lead
plaintiffs to file a consolidated complaint. The consolidated and amended
class action complaint which has been filed asserts the same legal claims
based on essentially the same factual allegations as did the Complaints.
On February 19, 1999, the Company and the Individual Defendants filed a
motion to dismiss the Consolidated Complaint. The District Court has
denied the motion to dismiss. The Company and the Individual Defendants
have answered the Consolidated Complaint, denying all liability and
raising various affirmative defenses.

Discovery has commenced. The Company believes that the allegations in the
Complaints are without merit, and intends to vigorously defend the
consolidated actions.

SOTHEBY'S: The Times (London) Reports on Former CEO Art Queen DeDe
It is hard to imagine a more spectacular fall from grace than that of the
Chanel-suited empress of the art world, DeDe Brooks. The former chief
executive of Sotheby's and the first woman to head an auction house now
spends her days on the phone to lawyers as she contemplates the
possibility of prison.

Brooks's coveted seats on boards, including the brokerage house Morgan
Stanley Dean Witter and her alma mater, Yale, have been relinquished. The
huge colonial-style home in Greenwich, Connecticut, is under offer for
around $ 4 million. Her trademark thicket of shoulder-length blonde hair
has been savagely cut and straightened so that people won't recognise

Last February Diana Brooks - nee Dwyer and universally known by her
childhood initials DeDe - astonished the art world with her sudden
resignation as CEO from the company for which she had worked extremely
hard for 20 years. "It didn't make sense. DeDe was Sotheby's," says a
former colleague, referring to the very public profile Brooks had built
for herself.

Not content with remaining an anonymous chief exec, she would on occasion
bang the gavel herself. Most famously, she presided over the sale of
Jackie Onassis's estate, which garnered Brooks lots of television

"It was seismic; we were in total shock," whispers a Sotheby's staffer.
The shock grew when the reason for her resignation became clear. Brooks
had apparently been served up to the Feds on a platinum platter. In
exchange for conditional immunity, Christie's, Sotheby's archrival, had
provided the American Department of Justice with documentary evidence
showing the two houses had illegally colluded. In 1992 and 1995, they had
allegedly conned the public by fixing commissions and agreeing to a
non-poaching-of-clients-or-staff policy. It was the biggest scandal to
hit the art market, of which the two companies control 95 per cent. As
well as the Sotheby's resignations, the news quickly led to a
class-action suit against both houses, which may yet run into billions.

"I couldn't believe it," says one New York dealer who specialises in
contemporary art and sums up what several observers in the Manhattan art
world seemed to feel. "I don't like DeDe; I think she's arrogant. But I
didn't think she was that arrogant."

Indeed, Brooks was known in the office for her bluntness; it was part of
her appeal. Six feet tall, she was known as a man's woman, who spent her
short vacations heli-skiing and could often be spotted "running - not
jogging" around Central Park before arriving to put in a 14-hour day at
the office.

The art world is fascinated by the psycho-drama now being played out. Why
did Christopher Davidge, the former chief executive of Christie's, blow
the whistle? And why did Brooks reportedly get caught up? Was it
corporate greed? And what will happen to her now? "Can you imagine
someone like DeDe going to jail?" exclaims the former colleague. "I
cannot even think of what she is going through."

Not surprisingly, sources who know Brooks, but prefer to remain
anonymous, say she is devastated. On paper, the rise of DeDe Brooks
appears par for the course for a child hothoused in a competitive,
successful family. She was one of six children and grew up on Long Island
destined to be a high achiever.

Her father, an aggressive figure, wanted his children to succeed at all
costs. A hard drinker, he combined his legal training with business and
owned a water company called JWP.

One family friend recalls him waking up DeDe's brother Andrew at 2am,
after a long evening drinking, to play table tennis with him. When
Andrew, aged 13 at the time, beat him, he furiously sent him back to bed.
At 6am the following morning, he woke the boy again, ordered him
downstairs and made him replay the match. Now sober, he rejoiced loudly
at being able to beat him.

Halfway through college, DeDe married Michael Brooks, now a venture
capitalist. After five years at Citibank, she had hoped to take a year
out to look after the couple's first baby. But, at a friend's suggestion,
she signed up as a part-time financial planner for Sotheby's and never
looked back.

Within ten years she reached the chief executive's office and would stay
there under the chairmanship of Alfred Taubman for another ten years.
Holding the reins in a volatile market, she rode the terrific highs and
lows, quickly expanding the Sotheby's brand to include financial
services, insurance and loans for clients to buy art. Ferociously
competitive with her rival Christie's, she was also aware of new threats
from the Internet auction site eBay, and last year authorised $ 40
million to launch a joint venture with Amazon.com to sell art online.

But though she was shrewd, ostensibly upfront and competitive, her
management style had its detractors. She would elbow department heads out
of the way to liaise with the important clients herself.

Then there was her decision to conduct the auctions: "A mistake," winces
the former colleague. "Basically, it's about rhythm, the ability to
modulate your voice. She has this huge, booming voice; it didn't work,
and I think that was hubris on her part."

The glitz has gone. The cocktail parties and benefits at which DeDe shone
are over. So too is the neighbouring $ 1.5 million plot of land Brooks
and her husband owned in Connecticut.

Her lawyers' fees will be immense, though talk of personal bankruptcy
seems premature, especially as she remains on Sotheby's payroll.
Suspended in legal limbo, Brooks is said to be too humiliated to face her
old contacts in the auction world. But if there is one person to whom she
can turn, it is her brother Andrew.

Remarkably, Andrew Dwyer found himself in equally distressing
circumstances seven years ago when he was forced to resign from JWP ,
amid accusations of "accounting irregularities".

His sister could face more severe punishment, although she might
negotiate a deal. "I think her lawyer is too smart to let her go to
prison," says one of her former colleagues. "But I predict a lot of
community service, during which she will have to appear resolute and
contrite." (The Times (London), July 24, 2000)

TECH COMPANIES: Employee Racial Suits Find Place in World of Meritocracy
The ugly images seem incongruous with the highflying, high-tech world
often touted as the ultimate meritocracy, where talent counts more than
skin color. But racial discrimination appears to have found a home there,
too, minority employees contend.

Consider these racial discrimination lawsuits and complaints filed with
state and federal agencies:

      At 3Com, a veteran telecommunications manager who is black was
shunned by his bosses and given a desk alone in a chilly backroom with
computer equipment. The day after his lawyer called the company to
request a mediation meeting, he was fired.

      At NEC Electronics, a white manager waved a 6-foot bullwhip at
meetings, confiding to a colleague that she used it to keep black
employees in line, according to former NEC workers. White managers at the
company frequently spewed racial slurs, legal filings allege.

      At Oracle, a seasoned manager, who is Hispanic, was allegedly
berated by her bosses and given minor tasks, from fetching coffee to
typing name tags. After she was fired, it took months of therapy for her
to regain her confidence.

More than a generation after the civil-rights movement swept the nation,
legal and diversity experts contend the technology field is troubled by
racist, hostile workplaces and blatant discrimination in the hiring and
promotion of African-Americans and Hispanics.

"Clearly, (racial) discrimination is still a problem in the workplace,
and technology is no exception," says Angela Alioto, a San Francisco
attorney representing former employees suing NEC for discrimination and

A major study last year of 250 Silicon Valley firms employing 142,000
workers found that 4% were black and 8% were Hispanic, reports John
Templeton, co-founder of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Silicon
Valley. In the San Francisco Bay Area, blacks and Hispanics make up 8%
and 14% of the workforce, the Labor Department finds. "Our patience has
worn thin," Templeton says. "It's unconscionable that their (hiring)
numbers are so ridiculously low."

A groundswell of legal and political activity on the issue of
discrimination has spread nationwide to gleaming technology parks and
corporate campuses:

In recent months, high-tech firms have been hit with dozens of lawsuits
and complaints alleging racial discrimination. In the largest case,
dozens of an expected 300 current and former employees of Nextel
Communications have filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, charging racial and sexual discrimination. Nextel
has declined comment until the firm completes its investigation.

Class-action law firms are hungry to sign on technology workers who feel
they've suffered from racism. "This may well be the next hot area for
class actions," says Steve Sidener, a lawyer at Gold Bennett Cera &
Sidener in San Francisco.

The political heat is rising in the high-tech, anti-discrimination arena.
On Saturday, 100 people filled Emmanuel Baptist Church here for a
workplace-rights seminar sponsored by the Coalition for Fair Employment,
the NAACP and the EEOC. Minority workers in business attire shed a few
tears and shared tales of anger about slamming into the glass ceiling at
their Silicon Valley companies.

On Capitol Hill, the National Urban League and other black leaders are
fighting the government's plans to double to 200,000 the number of H-1B
visas for high-tech foreign workers. They argue that technology firms
seeking to hire immigrants are ignoring well-qualified blacks and
Hispanics at home. According to the Labor Department, there are 583,000
black and Hispanic engineers, computer scientists and technicians in the
United States.

Activist Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition continue to lobby
for more hiring and training of blacks and Hispanics. In recent visits to
Silicon Valley, Jackson has met with Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers,
Intel CEO Craig Barrett, Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and other
power brokers.

The EEOC is on the prowl. Criticized as a paper tiger in the high-tech
field, the EEOC appears to be hunting more closely for workplace
discrimination in Silicon Valley. The agency recently beefed up its San
Francisco district office, nearly doubling its staff to 50 investigators
and lawyers.

David Grinberg, an EEOC spokesman, denies it is targeting technology
firms and says it investigates discrimination claims in all industries.
But employment-law attorneys and government regulators say privately that
race and age discrimination complaints by high-tech workers are slowly
rising. And, as it does in other industries, the EEOC hopes to "send a
message" by taking on a large Silicon Valley firm or two.

                        Are Claims 'absurd'?

High-tech boosters hail their industry as one where vision and hard work
are richly rewarded, regardless of race or ethnicity. Given the critical
shortage of technology workers, anyone who can write software code can
land a good job, they argue. "Sure, there are individual cases of
discrimination, but to claim there's widespread racial bias in our
industry is just absurd," says T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor
in San Jose and an outspoken critic of affirmative action.

Industry cheerleaders also point to the many firms -- Cisco, IBM,
Gateway, Applied Materials and others -- that work hard on the digital
divide issue. They fund scholarships for thousands of minorities and give
money and computers to inner-city schools and training projects. They
note that groups including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
and the National Society of Black Engineers are working more closely with
high-tech firms on recruiting, training and other issues. "We're making
progress, but a lot more needs to be done," says Leticia Vidal, executive
director of the Hispanic engineers' group in Los Angeles.

But critics say that companies also must deal with racial attitudes
deeply embedded in corporate cultures and managers. "Silicon Valley
prides itself on being a unique meritocracy, but of course there's
discrimination there just as there is in every other industry," says
Butch Wing, a spokesman for the Rainbow/PUSH coalition.

                           A Shocking Dismissal

Lindsay Brown, a tall, friendly man from Sioux City, Iowa, speaks proudly
of his career accomplishments and his family. Before joining 3Com in
1998, he had worked 25 years for IBM, Rolm and Siemens as a
telecommunications manager.

At 3Com, he was hired as a telecom analyst and promised management duties
and training. He was told he would be a valued member of the team.
Instead, he was ignored and given menial tasks, according to Brown; his
attorney, Doris Nehme; and state legal records. He was not invited to
project meetings. He was reprimanded for taking time off for his
stepmother's funeral and another family emergency, even though bosses had
approved the days off. He was shunted to work alone at a desk in a cold
computer room although there was space in the main office, according to
the filing.

Last August, Brown strolled into work and tried unsuccessfully to log on
to his computer. A few minutes later, a shocked Brown was told by his
bosses that he had been fired.

"I felt humiliated," says Brown, speaking at his three-bedroom ranch home
in Sunnyvale. "I had never heard of anyone else at 3Com being treated
this way."

Brown hired an attorney and filed a complaint with the California Fair
Employment and Housing Department, alleging discrimination, retaliation
and harassment by four bosses at 3Com. He also requested right-to-sue
notices to clear the way for a civil lawsuit.

Todd Irwin, a 3Com spokesman, denies that Brown was the target of
discriminatory treatment. In a written statement, 3Com says Brown was
fired "after careful consideration of his performance and after repeated
written and verbal warnings. 3Com does not discriminate. Our culture and
values as a company are so strongly supportive of respecting diversity,
we are confident anyone who knows our company will know this is an
inaccurate charge."

3Com declined to release the racial breakdown of its staff, but Labor
Department data from 1996 show that 3% of its 3,800 employees were black,
6% Hispanic and 20% Asian. About 14% of its managers were minorities.

Brown and his lawyer say they plan to sue in federal court soon. Brown,
who is unemployed, estimates the firing cost him $ 100,000 in lost
salary, benefits and stock options. "I do not want to use race as a
crutch, but I had to fight this," Brown says. "My mother was a devout
Baptist, and she taught us the ethos of hard work. She also taught us to
stand our ground if we believe we're right."

                     Passed over for Promotion

For two decades, Eugene Shands, a burly former Marine, toiled first as a
cop and an assistant dean of students at University of California at
Santa Barbara, then as a security manager at Amdahl. When he landed a
plum job as NEC's security director in 1990, he thought he would retire
at the San Jose company.

But problems started surfacing. Nearly every day at NEC's offices and
warehouses, white managers and employees uttered racial and sexual slurs,
including many that are too vulgar to be published here, according to
lawsuits. Despite his experience and glowing job reviews, Shands -- who
is black and Hispanic -- was passed over several times for promotions by
whites with less experience, the lawsuits say.

The most startling incidents involved a former warehouse manager who kept
a bullwhip in her office, former NEC workers say. She strode across the
warehouse snapping the whip; she took it to staff meetings. "Get to
work!" she yelled. When Shands asked her why she had it, he says she
replied, "To keep my colored boys in line. That's what they understand."
Shands, who was mailed the whip anonymously, says, "I couldn't believe
this manager was saying these things."

Mark Pearce, an NEC spokesman, declined to address the allegations but
confirmed the problem with the manager's bullwhip. "It's true that
several years ago, we had a serious but isolated situation in the
company. We carried out a thorough, independent investigation and took
decisive, responsible action."

The manager and another supervisor were fired after NEC's investigation,
according to the lawsuits. The manager could not be reached for comment.
But the racial slurs continued. Shands also alleged that his new NEC boss
undercut his authority, piled on impossible work assignments and set him
up for failure.

Shands lodged a complaint with the EEOC in 1997. A month later, he was
fired. NEC accused him of falsifying his rsum with bogus police and
educational credentials. Shands showed USA TODAY original documents and
certificates corroborating his credentials.

After months of receiving treatment for depression, Shands wants his day
in court. He has sued NEC in federal court for racial discrimination,
breach of contract and retaliation. NEC's Pearce declines to comment on
the lawsuit. He says that NEC -- a Japanese-owned company based in Tokyo
-- is a "mini-United Nations" that trains employees to respect different
cultures. Managers who engage in discriminatory actions are disciplined
appropriately, he says.

That doesn't appease Shands. "I'm still angry. I had a pretty good
reputation in this Valley. Now it's at rock bottom. I want a jury to hear
my story."

                     From a Bonus to Being Fired

Maria Flores, a Honduran woman who was born in a Central American fishing
village and raised in New York City, was hired in 1996 by Oracle after 15
years at IBM as a technical trainer and sales manager.

Developing training programs for salespeople, Flores did well her first
year. She got a big raise, a bonus and a glowing performance review,
according to her legal documents. During a corporate reshuffling the next
year, Flores ended up with a new boss. Suddenly, Flores could do no
right. According to her EEOC complaint and lawsuit against Oracle, she
was given menial tasks, such as sharpening pencils. She says she was made
the scapegoat of a poorly conceived project that flopped. And while eight
white colleagues on her team with less experience were promoted, Flores
alleges that she was "criticized, belittled and treated differently from
non-minority employees."

In December 1997, her manager wrote up Flores and told her she needed to
improve her performance. A month later, Oracle fired her. In court
filings, Oracle's law firm, Keesal Young & Logan, deny the charges raised
by Flores. A statement from Oracle also says Flores' allegations are
"without any merit." Flores was hired over two white job applicants, the
statement reads, and the actions taken against her "were in no way based
on her race or ancestry."

Oracle says the company enjoys a reputation as one of the best high-tech
companies on diversity issues. Oracle actively recruits minorities,
sponsors dozens of minority career conferences and recently donated $
700,000 to the United Negro College Fund.

The fast-growing firm also appears to have hired more minorities in
recent years. In 1996, minorities made up 26% of its workforce of 12,000
and 9% of its managers, according to the Labor Department. Today, 32% of
its workforce of 44,000 and 25% of its managers are minorities, Oracle

Flores still was devastated by her firing. She sought comfort from
friends and a counselor. She flew to Honduras for a month, visiting
relatives in the fishing village and taking long walks with her elderly

"After all of my hard work, I did not deserve to be treated so shabbily
by Oracle," she says. "They had no legal or moral right to deny me the
fruits of my labor." (USA Today, July 24, 2000)

TOBACCO LITIGATION: B&W Unworried by Landmark FL Verdict, Execs Say
Brown & Williamson officials assured Macon employees Friday that a
landmark court decision against the tobacco industry is not causing them

Instead, corporate spokespeople said the company will successfully appeal
a jury's decision that Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. pay $ 17.59
billion to Florida smokers. The award is part of a total $ 145 billion
assessed against the tobacco industry.

There was no talk of bankruptcy proceedings or plant layoffs at its only
American cigarette-manufacturing plant, located in Macon, company
officials said Friday. About 3,000 people work at the Macon plant.

"There will be no changes in the plant's operations. There will be no
affect on the employees," said Steve Kottak, manager of public affairs,
from the company's Louisville, Ky., headquarters. "We are 100 percent
confident the higher courts will reverse this decision. We are not
required to pay the award immediately, and we believe we will never have
to pay this money."

That's good news to employees, say local union leaders representing more
than two-thirds of the plant's employees. Layoffs and downsizing could
drastically affect quality of life for workers at Middle Georgia's
largest private employer. According to past company statistics, Brown &
Williamson's annual payroll in Macon exceeds $ 186 million.

"There are several issues we're still watching because we're two weeks
away from contract negotiations," said Bryan Hite, president of the
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Miller International Union Local
No. 362T.

The tobacco union represents 1,980 employees at Brown & Williamson in
Macon. Another 200 Macon employees are members of the International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Hite says he believes there will be no layoffs in the near future,
especially while the award is appealed. That could take several years.

"But the company says, and I believe, this (award) will be overturned,"
said Hite, also an employee at the Macon plant. "That's a good thing for
the company, which is a good thing for the employees. Every time I ask
about downsizing, they tell me it won't happen."

Kottak said Friday that continuing tobacco litigation has hurt the
company, but attrition -- losing jobs through retirement or other
voluntary separation -- has been the company's method of eliminating
positions. Even some Macon positions have been lost through attrition,
Kottak said, although how many was unclear Friday.

Still, Brown & Williamson is considered one of Bibb County's best
corporate citizens, operating a plant in Macon since 1977.

The company contributes more than $ 5.5 million in county and city taxes
and is one of Middle Georgia's top charitable contributors. The company's
Macon plant donated $ 910,000 to United Way in 1999. Brown & Williamson's
Web site lists more than 20 different nonprofit organizations that it
gives to annually.

"This is a company that is absolutely a wonderful corporate citizen,"
said Paul Nagle, president of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. "I
understand why this is a news story, but there is no reason for undo

Nagle admits the loss of Brown & Williamson would seriously hurt Middle
Georgia's economy, but recent talks with company officials also have him
believing that isn't likely to happen.

"There is nothing magic about this (jury) decision," Nagle said. "There
are still a number of motions for a judge to consider."

For two years, Brown & Williamson has joined four other cigarette
producers in fighting the Florida class-action lawsuit. The company said
Friday it was "shocked and outraged" at the jury's decision.

"We simply can't believe the jury would totally ignore the extensive
efforts Brown & Williamson has made in the last several years to reduce
youth smoking, to work on producing safer cigarettes and to be open and
accessible to the public," said Gordon Smith, the company's lead

Friday's punitive amounts were based merely on market share, Kottak said.
Brown & Williamson controls a little more than 13 percent of the overall
tobacco market, according to its 1999 annual review. It's assets are near
$ 800 million, Kottak added.

"We were the first tobacco company to name a vice president to address
corporate youth responsibilities, to have a Web site that talked about
health issues and to link it to other sites like the American Cancer
Society," he said. "For quite some time, our Macon research center has
studied ways to produce safer cigarettes. The jury considered none of

Company lawyers already are drawing up appeal documents, Kottak said, and
the cigarette manufacturer is still waiting for the judge to rule on
several motions to dismiss. Court proceedings could continue for several

Kottak says the company will continue to protect its interests, employees
and products.

"We think we're acting responsibly," he said. "We will continue to be out
front and open about these (health) issues."

Brown & Williamson, a wholly owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco
Co., is the nation's third-largest manufacturer and marketer of tobacco
products. The company's major brands include KOOL, Lucky Strike, GPC,
Misty, Capri, Viceroy and Pall Mall. (The Macon Telegraph, July 20, 2000)

TOBACCO LITIGATION: The Edmonton Sun Predicts 3 Things after FL Verdict
Now that the tobacco industry has been hit with the largest damage award
in U.S. history, $ 145 billion US, three things are likely to happen. And
one thing that should happen, won't.

First, industry lawyers will appeal to every level of the judicial
system, taking every legal minute to file the papers.

This effectively ensures that most of the hundreds of thousands of
plaintiffs in this Florida case will die of their self-afflicted smoking
ailments before there's a final settlement.

Next, made delirious by their contingency fees - most lawyers in these
cases skip retainers or per-hour charges in return for a slice of the
award, often one-third of the figure - the legal sharks will look at
other industries as potential milk cows.

Third, big tobacco will quietly sue for judicial peace, pressuring their
in-pocket politicians, federal and state, to seek congressional
protection against damage suits through award caps or an outright ban on

Part one of the action trilogy is under way. Industry lawyers have asked
the presiding Miami judge to reduce or toss out the award. Whatever his
decision, it will be appealed, first to the local circuit court,
eventually to the state Supreme Court. When the routine award challenges
are over, the next round will be to demand that every individual member
of the class action - it's estimated there are 700,000 potential members
- should have to argue his or her case.

No two people smoke alike, the attorneys claim, so a universal award is
inappropriate. Each person should explain why he or she began smoking,
inhaled, got sick, and then figured it was the tobacco company's fault.
And they should be made to explain why, despite the 1964 Surgeon
General's report and the common knowledge of smoking dangers existing
before that date, they opted for the weed anyway.

Part two is also under way, and has been since people tired of the
handgun mayhem going on around them and some lawyer figured the weapons
manufacturers could be prime targets. Already, 28 communities have filed
suit against various gunmakers to recover damages for medical, police and
other costs resulting from the violence. The black civil rights
organization, the NAACP, is pursuing a federal lawsuit against major
manufacturers, seeking not money but the imposition of strict controls on
the sale and use of weapons.

With tobacco and guns already targeted, can liquor, cars, boats and
bicycles be far behind?

Pressure for a legislative umbrella, part three of the plan, is building
as the lawsuits pile up.

The industry has twice tried unsuccessfully to badger Congress into
accepting a deal, even offering $ 500 billion US over 25 years to
prohibit further litigation.

The industry first argued it had cleaned up its act and would actively
discourage America's youth from smoking (Oh, sure, so who's going to buy
tobacco 10 years from now if the kids don't smoke or chew?). Its latest
ploy is to hit pols closer to home, arguing that if the industry is bled
dry by huge awards, thousands of jobs will be lost as factories move to
Latin America.

That's an approach that may work with a politician who has to get re-
elected every couple of years. It has a particularly good chance if the
Republicans take the White House and maintain their majorities on Capitol
Hill in November's elections.

If these are the things that will happen, what is it that should, but

An end to blame-shifting. We've known all our lifetimes that smoking is a
personal choice. Why sue someone else for something you decided to do? In
the end, only the lawyers win. (The Edmonton Sun, July 23, 2000)

USDA: Black Farmers in St. Louis Express Suspicions about Relief
Area black farmers, meeting here Tuesday and Wednesday with a
court-appointed monitor in the class-action lawsuit settlement with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, expressed suspicion and cynicism over
promises of relief.

A group of black farmers sued the USDA in 1997, claiming they were
systematically discriminated against when applying for loans and subsidy

Last year, a settlement was reached that gives farmers who are accepted
in the class a judgment of $ 50,000, the right to seek higher damages
through arbitration or the right to continue with an individual lawsuit.

Farmers also can claim debt relief.

About 100 farmers met with Randi Roth, the independent monitor, Ed
Cheeseboro, deputy monitor, and staff attorney Stephen Carpenter to learn
more about injunctive relief, another aspect of the settlement.

And, although the consent decree says what those farmers are due, some
farmers meeting this week with the monitor and staff believe they won't
receive what they're owed.

"We know the laws are in place, but they're not being enforced," said
Larry Rasberry, Jefferson County, Ark., chairman of the Black Farmers and
Agriculturists Association.

The consent decree says farmers who have had their claims upheld and are
set to receive a $ 50,000 cash settlement also are entitled to other

This includes priority -- on a one-time basis -- for the purchase or
lease of government-foreclosed land and equipment and for federal farm
loans if they qualify.

The farmers also have the right to work with a government agent that they
find acceptable -- a condition the farmers were doubtful of.

Thousands of acres already have been lost by black farmers who worked
with county agents who discriminated against them, Rasberry said.

There's no reason to trust them now, he said.

But this time, Roth told the farmers they have the ear of the U.S.
Agriculture secretary and a federal judge and that they should contact
the monitor's office if the consent decree isn't being upheld.

"The secretary of agriculture has told us he wants to know where those
places are," Roth said. "I can't promise you every county officer will
leave, is fired or has a change of heart, but the consent decree says you
can deal with somebody else."

On Wednesday, other farmers, such as Alvin O'Neal of Somerville, met with
Roth during a closed meeting to discuss individual problems.

O'Neal, who said he has been fighting discrimination from the
government's farm agents for more than 20 years, says the farmers have
nothing to lose by making the effort to receive the injunctive relief
they are due.

"I've been fighting this battle for 20-something years," O'Neal said.
"I'm not going to stop now." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 20, 2000)


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Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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